The outcome of conflict depends on how you handle the issues. Destructive conflict depicted by negative or unhealthy reactions, shouting, accusing, not listening leads to more conflict and should be avoided.
Discuss your differences early before they get entrenched, before resentment and negative emotions build up. Select a good time to talk about the problem. Open up to each other. Make eye contact, tenderly touch or hold hands.
Talk about it
Speak your mind what you think or feel. Use positive communication. Express strong feelings appropriately. Avoid hurtful statements. Don’t attack your partner by using ‘you’ statements you caused it… you are the one that…. Use “i” statements to express your feeling for effective communication.
Take turns to talk and listen. Listen well to understand your partner’s perspective. Go beyond what he/she is saying verbally to understand what he/she is communicating emotionally. Ask questions to clarify what he/she is saying. Ask non-defensive questions to elicit non-defensive responses.
Calm and rational
Respond calmly to deal with the intruder, the problem, your spouse is not the problem. State your opinion, express your feelings, concerns and needs calmly. Calm tone of voice and positive body language.
Work together at getting to the root of the problem. Search for solution together. Consider each other’s view. Find a way to resolve it and arrive at a compromise. Come up with solutions. Select a solution that you are both happy with and can carry out. Show remorse and apologize where necessary. Resolve to prevent a recurrence. Forgive, who is above mistake anyway.
Make up. Re-affirm your love for each other and re-connect. Appreciate your spouse for the little things he/she does for the family. Pursue the happiness of your marriage.